Garlic Soup

October 7, 2012

ON A CHILLY AUTUMN EVENING, I can always count on Garlic Soup to warm my soul. This Aigo Bouido is fast, easy and inexpensive to make. And served with toasted rounds of French bread, it makes a magnificent lunch. It also makes a first-class first-course for dinner. Can I offer you a taste?

Garlic Soup
Adapted from various sources
Ingredients for 2 1/4 quarts, or about 8 servings
The broth:
2 heads of garlic, the cloves separated but not peeled
2 quarts water
3 whole cloves (the spice)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Grinds of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
1/4 teaspoon dried sage (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
1 bay leaf (Turkish is best)
6 sprigs of parsley
3 Tablespoons olive oil

For the sauce-base:
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup olive oil

Accompaniments:
1 cup shredded Swiss, Parmesan, or Asiago cheese
Toasted rounds of French bread

To start, smash the individual cloves of garlic. I smashed mine with a stout drinking glass.

Drop the smashed garlic — including the paper skins, if they are still clinging to the garlic — into the saucepan of water.

Then add the salt, pepper, cloves and herbs to the saucepan.

Note: Do you have tons of sage in your garden? Me too. Use it for this soup.

Another note: Use the flat-leaved type parsley for this soup. It is infinitely-more peppery than its curly-leaved kin.

Bring the broth ingredients to a boil. Then let the broth simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate or shred the cheese, and then place it in a pretty bowl. You’ll be passing this bowl around after you serve the soup.

Did someone say cheese?

Now prepare the croutons.  Take a loaf of French bread (homemade is awesome), and cut it into 1/2-inch slices.

Set the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Let them dry out in a 325-degree oven until they are definitely crisp but only lightly browned — about 25 minutes.

Back to the soup. Strain the broth through a mesh sieve set over a bowl. Press down on the strained ingredients with the back of a wooden spoon — you want all the garlicky herby-ness to wind up in the bowl.

I hope your mouth is watering right about now.

There are no pictures for this next step, because it requires two hands: Whisk together 3 egg yolks until thick — about 15 seconds. Then gradually add one 1/4 cup olive oil, whisking all the while, to form a rich, uber-delicious sauce.

Pour the sauce into your soup tureen.  Then whisk in a tiny amount of hot broth to temper the egg mixture, and thus keep the eggs from scrambling. Finally, add the rest of the broth and whisk to blend.

The soup will be perfectly delicious at this point.  But it will look a little dull. Perk up the picture with minced parsley.

Just sprinkle the parsley over the soup, and then stir it in.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Then pass the cheese and toasted bread around.

Folks, this soup is mellow, herbal, and about as comforting as a big old hug. Promise me you’ll try it some day.

And here’s the copy-and-paste version:

Garlic Soup
Adapted from various sources
Ingredients for 2 1/4 quarts, or about 8 servings
The broth:
2 heads of garlic, the cloves separated and smashed, but not peeled
2 quarts water
3 whole cloves (the spice)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Grinds of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
1/4 teaspoon dried sage (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)
1 bay leaf (Turkish is best)
6 sprigs of parsley
3 Tablespoons olive oil

For the sauce-base:
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup olive oil

Accompaniments:
1 cup shredded Swiss, Parmesan, or Asiago cheese
Toasted rounds of French bread

Place all of the broth ingredients into a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, then partially cover the pan, and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve set over a large bowl, pushing down on the ingredients with the back of a wooden spoon to help extract their juices.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks until thick — about 15 seconds. Then gradually whisk in the olive oil until a thick, rich sauce develops — about 30 seconds.

Pour the egg mixture into a soup tureen or large serving bowl. Whisking all the while, add one 1/2 cup hot broth to the egg mixture. Then whisk in the remaining broth. Stir in the minced parsley.

To serve, ladle the soup into cups or bowls, letting guests add the shredded cheese to their own soup portion. Pass the toasted bread.

If you enjoy the recipes at A Garden for the House, by all means let me know. You can’t imagine how much your comments mean to me.

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Related Posts:
Caramelized Butternut Squash Soup
Navy Bean & Rosemary Soup
Apple Crisp

Comments

  1. Wolfgang says:

    Great soup Kevin. For even better bread, after drying brush with compound garlic butter and top with finely grated parmigiano reggiano cheese and melt cheese in oven for 5 minutes.

  2. Denise in Colorado says:

    Mmmmmmmmmm! Can’t wait to make this soup! And I’m going to try growing garlic in my garden next year… Hope it’s not to late to plant it this week! :)

  3. Karin says:

    Kevin,

    That looks quite good. My husband and I are both big on garlic, I put it in almost everything I cook.

    He is Cajun so even tho as he has aged and can’t have his food as spicey as he one ate and loved it, fortunatly garlic is still tolerable.

    Another great recipe and want you to know as a fellow gardener, you have done a wonderful job on your gardens ! Our labor or love is eternally rewarding.

    My best and keep up the great info,
    Karin

  4. Miki Holden says:

    I can hardly wait to try this! Here in central coast California, it’s about a month from garlic-planting time. I’ll plant extra this year for sure!

  5. Anne B says:

    Yum. Sounds so comforting for an autumn evening.

  6. Valerie C. says:

    Another great one! Even this novice can understand the directions.( I have cookbooks that are so intimidating that I never make the recipes.) I will make this :)

  7. Wolfgang – Thanks for the idea. Love butter and cheese.

    Denise – As long as the ground isn’t frozen where you are, there’s still time to plant garlic. I used my own August-harvested, hard-neck garlic for the recipe above.

    Karin – My partner can’t eat spicy things, either. But like your husband, he can still enjoy garlic!

    Miki Holden – If you try this soup, I hope you’ll let me know how it turns out for you. And yes — plant extra garlic — besides being delicious, it’s a great insect- and critter-repellant!

  8. Janie says:

    Thanks for the recipe. This was always a favorite on mine in a Mexican restaurant that has long since closed now…I always wanted a recipe for it but everything I always see has some differences. This one is right on the nose.

  9. Lisa Butkus says:

    That looks amazing!
    I can’t wait to try it.
    Thank you!!!

  10. Anne B – Yes, comforting!

    Valerie C. – This is easy indeed. Would you believe it took me far longer to write the recipe than it did to make the soup?

    Janie – You are right — there are lots of versions/techniques for making Garlic Soup. This one is easy. It’s also divine.

    Lisa Butkus – Well, I hope you’ll try the soup, and then report your success.

  11. Terry says:

    hmm, this sounds yummy! How much water are you using in the broth?

  12. Brenda Johnson says:

    Very interesting…. I will have to give this a try!

  13. Carole says:

    The 2 heads of garlic, does that include the 3 “whole” cloves? Looking forward to trying this; it’s turning cool down South.

  14. Anne-Marie says:

    Oh .. lovely .. lovely ..lovely recipe! I will be making this often. I’ve been growing garlic for a few years (as a matter of fact, I’m planting some today!) Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!
    Also, how could I use up the egg whites? Do you have any little recipes for these? I was brought up not to waste food and so wouldn’t like to just discard these.

    thank you!!!! Anne-Marie

  15. Hi Terry – Herbs, cloves and garlic are simmered in 2 quarts of water.

    Brenda – Stay tuned…I can’t leave my taste-tester out in the cold!

    Carole – “3 whole cloves” refers to the spice called cloves. Glad to hear your region is receiving some cooler weather.

    Anne-Marie – Freeze the egg whites! They will come in handy for this bit of deliciousness.

  16. peg says:

    yummmm! this week for sure!!
    thanks!

  17. Mary says:

    I am going to give this a try tomorrow! Thanks for the great recipes, Kevin!

  18. joanne damon says:

    This sounds yummy. I love the idea of finishing the soup with the eggs!
    Just trying to understand the yield. It starts with two quarts of water and ends up with only 2 1/4 cups?

    2 1/4 cups, or about 8 servings
    Is this correct?

  19. joanne damon – Thank you for catching that. And would you believe I proofed this recipe over and over again? The ingredients are for 2 1/4 QUARTS, not cups!!! I’ve made the correction.

  20. Anne-Marie says:

    thank you … souffle sounds good (and no waste) .. much appreciated!! A.M.
    p.s., I was wondering about the “2 1/4 cups for 8 servings” .. now, that would be very gourmet cooking with such tiny servings! :) Good catch!!

  21. Brenda Flood says:

    Hi Kevin:

    New fan!!!!! Love your site and just made the garlic soup. I thought three cloves referred to two heads of garlic plus three cloves :-) I’ll try it next time with three cloves.
    This is so yummy, even my nearly five year old little boy, Jack, loved it. We had it for lunch on this raw and chilly day in the South.
    Thank you so much and look forward to visiting your site often now.
    Have a great day !!!!!
    -Brenda

  22. Riversana says:

    Can’t wait to try this, I love garlic! Glad the 3 cloves got clarified, I though they were garlic too! lol

  23. Brenda Flood – Nice to meet you. So glad you enjoyed the soup, and thought to tell me so. As for the clove-confusion, well, it was probably inevitable. Consequently I’ve amended “3 whole cloves” to read “3 whole cloves (the spice)”. Hope that clears everything up!

    Riversana – If you try this soup, I hope you’ll let me know how it turns out for you. It’s super-duper. And easy-peasy. It’s healthy too — unlike some of my other recipes!

  24. Norma says:

    Not so sure about the soup – but I will try for sure. however, the pooch is waaay cute!

  25. Donna B. says:

    I’m trembling Kevin, TREMBLING. Garlic is my favorite flavor – ever.
    I shall try this recipe very soon…

    I like the touch of the egg, I’m going to guess it’s to help thicken the soup? mmm…

  26. Karen says:

    Hey Kevin, I’m going to give this recipe a try! I’ve got some homegrown garlic that is just begging to be in this soup recipe!

    It seems that everyone is pretty pleased with using 2 quarts of water but I was wondering what your thoughts were on replacing it with vegetable or chicken broth.

    Cute doggie!

  27. Hi Norma – Lily is a cutie. And a love-dog.

    Hi Donna B. – I suspect you will love this soup! The egg yolk/olive oil combo thickens the soup slightly. But it also gives it a certain richness.

    Hi Karen – Best to use water. Chicken or vegetable stock might compete with the soft, mellow, garlickness of the brew.

  28. Kathleen Conner says:

    Oh, boy, this looks good. Thanks for posting this–it’s completely different from anything I’ve made before.

  29. Deb S says:

    Garlic is my fav and this looks easy to make will be trying it soon!!

  30. Doreen says:

    Just love this site!!! My favorite !!
    Just wanted to share that I planted 2 beds of organic garlic last fall (50 large cloves)so looking forward to trying this soup….my hubby and I love garlic and its the first thing we grab when we get the sniffles.
    Thank you for this wonderful web site!! Its an inspiration!!

  31. Carroll says:

    Kevin, I have enjoyed your Letter via E Mail,house, garden, cooking for a long time. I especially love the thought of the Fireplce since I am in Florida and don’t have one. I cxan imagine this wonderful soup, with a fire and friends…Ahh

  32. Melissa says:

    This has become my go to recipe when there’s sickness in the house, and with my daughter having started kindergarten this year plus the weather, I’ve made it more than a couple times! We all love it as it is so flavorful that even with a cold its still yummy, yet it is not overwhelming in an upset tummy either.

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